Disposal of scrap appliances under the ElektroG
The German Electrical and Electronic Equipment Act (ElektroG) regulates the disposal of electrical scrap. It requires that disused electrical appliances – including luminaires and lamps – must be disposed of properly at the end of their life with the least possible environmental impact.
In adopting the ElektroG in 2006, Germany transposed an EU directive – the WEEE Directive – into national law. The Act stipulates that old appliances must be separated by product group and recycled.
What needs to be recycled?
Under the ElektroG, recycling is required fo
There is no requirement to recycle:
The proper way to dispose of lamps
Discharge lamps contain tiny amounts of mercury. So the disposal of spent lamps of this type falls under the purview of the ElektroG; discharge lamps should not be disposed of as residual waste.
Responsibility for collection and recycling resides with manufacturers. Hence the establishment of Lightcycle Retourlogistik und Service GmbH (only in german), formed by the German lamp industry in 2006. A non-profit company, it organises the nationwide collection of spent discharge lamps. Municipal maintenance yards and a network of voluntary collection points for spent lamps are associated with it. Major industrial consumers can also arrange for lamps to be collected at their premises.
The following product groups needs to be collected for disposal by this system:
- linear fluorescent lamps
- compact fluorescent lamps
- discharge lamps, including high-pressure sodium vapour lamps and metal halide lamps
- low-pressure sodium vapour lamps
More information about recycling spent lamps is available from the AGLV working group (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Lampenverwertung) of manufacturers and lamp recyclers within the German Electrical and Electronic Manufacturers' Association ZVEI or from Lightcycle GmbH.
The proper way to dispose of luminaires
The ElektroG requires that technical luminaires used in offices and administration, trade, industry and commerce as well as all non-residential luminaires bought before March 2006 must be disposed of by users themselves.
Technical luminaires bought after March 2006 are identified by a symbol depicting a crossed-out refuse bin and can be
- disposed of by users themselves or
- returned free of charge for collection by special disposal companies. These companies act as collectors for German luminaire manufacturers. One such disposal company is Interseroh.